This book addresses societal relationships to river systems, highlighting many unexplored possibilities in how we know and manage our rivers.
Brierley contends that although we have good scientific understanding of rivers, with remarkable prospect for profound improvements to river condition, management applications greatly under-deliver. He conceptualizes approaches to river repair in two very different ways: Medean (competitive) and Gaian (cooperative). Rather than ‘managing’ rivers to achieve particular anthropogenic goals (the former option), this book adopts a more-than-human approach to ‘living with living rivers’ (the latter option), applying a river rights framework that conceptualizes rivers as sentient entities.
Chapters build on significant experience across many parts of the world, emphasizing the diverse array of river attributes and relationships to be protected and the wide range of problems to be addressed. Although the book has an environmental focus, it is framed as an argument in popular philosophy, contemplating the agency of rivers as place-beings. It will be of great value to academics, students and general readers interested in protecting river systems.